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2020/2021 Annual Meeting of Division of Gravity and Relativistic Astrophysics, Chinese Physical Soci
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2020/2021 Annual Meeting of Division of Gravity
and Relativistic Astrophysics, Chinese Physical Society

Xin Zhang

The 2020/2021 Annual Meeting of Division of Gravity and Relativistic Astrophysics of the Chinese Physical Society was successfully held at Northeastern University in Shenyang, China, from April 23 to April 28, 2021. This meeting was organized by Northeastern University and co-organized by Peking University, Beijing Normal University, Chongqing University, Wuhan University, Lanzhou University, and Institute of Theoretical Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. More than 500 researchers participated in this on-site meeting. The number of participants is an exciting piece of news for the whole science community all over the world in face of the pandemic of COVID-19.

Professor Rong-Gen Cai (Academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and chair of the committee of the division) gave a passionate speech at the opening ceremony of the meeting (Fig. 5). Professor Cai said that the world is experiencing a phenomenal change that has not been seen in the past century. Global scientific and technological innovation has experienced an unprecedented dense and active period. In this historical period, our country, China, remarked Cai, is paying particular attention to the investment in basic research and the development of top talents in science and technology more than ever before. Basic research is the source of the entire scientific system, and the research of gravity and astrophysics is one of the most fundamental parts of basic research. In recent years, major breakthroughs have frequently appeared in the field of gravity and astrophysics. For instance, the detection of gravitational waves and the capture of the first image of a black hole have opened new windows and provided new tools for exploring various mysteries of the universe in greater depth. He added: "In the past four years, three Nobel Prizes in Physics have been awarded to the field of gravity and astrophysics, a recognition that adequately shows that the research in our field is embarking on a golden age."

 



Fig. 5: Professor Rong-Gen Cai gave a passionate speech at the opening ceremony of the meeting

With the construction of a number of major scientific facilities, such as the FAST telescope ("China's Sky Eye"), China will definitely see an explosion of important achievements in this scientific field. Cai also noted that "at present, our country (China) is undergoing a comprehensive reform of the science and technology system so as to enhance the effectiveness of the innovation system and stimulate greater innovation vitality." Professor Cai called on young people to keep in step with the times, seize any opportunities that appear, unswervingly devote themselves to the frontiers of science, and strive for major innovations with global influence. He noted that there is a need to create a good innovation environment for young talents and accelerate the formation of a training and competition mechanism conducive for the growth and emergence of talents. He reiterated that it is important to cultivate and bring up a large number of leading experts in China in the field of gravity and astrophysics.

There were eleven plenary speakers at the meeting: Xuelei Chen (National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences/Northeastern University), Hong Lv (Tianjin University), Yawen Sun (University of Chinese Academy of Sciences), Dechang Dai (Yangzhou University), Xilong Fan (Wuhan University), Wen Zhao (University of Science and Technology of China), Feng Yuan (Shanghai Astronomical Observatory, Chinese Academy of Sciences), Puxun Wu (Hunan Normal University), Andre Costa (Yangzhou University), Yefei Yuan (University of Science and Technology of China), and Di Li (National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences). There were also five parallel conference themes at the meeting, namely, Gravitational Theory I, Gravitational Theory II, Gravitational Wave Physics, Cosmology and Astrophysics, and Black Hole Physics, and a total of 169 oral presentations. Participants at the meeting enjoyed an in-depth and extensive exchange of the latest research results and updates in the field of gravity and astrophysics, covering the frontier issues in gravitational theory, gravitational wave physics, black hole physics, quantum gravity, gravitational experiments, quantum field theory in curved spacetime, nuclear astrophysics, dark matter and dark energy, early universe, and cosmological probes.

This meeting also witnessed the general election of the Division of Gravity and Relativistic Astrophysics of the Chinese Physical Society. On April 24, the eleventh committee was elected, and the first plenary session of the new committee was held on the same evening to elect the members of the standing committee. Rong-Gen Cai was elected as the chair of the committee; Yi Ling, Bin Wang, Hongwei Yu, and Xin Zhang were elected as the vice-chairs of the committee. Yu-Xiao Liu was appointed as the secretary general, and Zhou-Jian Cao was appointed as the vice-secretary general. The election result has been submitted to the standing council of the Chinese Physical Society for consideration and approval.

This meeting had also attracted a large number of top researchers in China in the field of gravity and astrophysics. Many researchers had good academic exchanges of the latest research results from different groups and updated themselves with the progress in the fields of gravity, cosmology, astronomy, and astrophysics. Ironically, even with the pandemic, the scale of the meeting is the largest ever organized. The high level of the presentations and the extensive discussions have played a significant role in the promotion of exchanges, cooperation, and development in these fields. Since its inception in 1974, the Annual Meeting of Division of Gravity and Relativistic Astrophysics, Chinese Physical Society, has been going strong for the last 42 years, and it is now one of the most prestigious academic events in the physics community of China (Figs. 6 and 7).

 



Fig. 6: Photo taken in the main conference venue

 



Fig. 7: Meeting group photo

 

 
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